United States District Court, D. Maryland
KRIS ALCORN, et. al., Plaintiffs,
GEORGE MASON MORTGAGE, LLC, Defendant.
RICHARD D. BENNETT, District Judge.
Kris Alcorn ("Alcorn") and Christian Cartwright
"Plaintiffs") bring this putative class action
against Defendant George Mason Mortgage, LLC ("George
Mason"), alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards
Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.
("FLSA"). Specifically, Alcorn and Cartwright
claim that George Mason failed to pay them and their
similarly situated co-workers any overtime wages in violation
of federal law.
before this Court are Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF
No. 3); Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Complaint (ECF No. 8); and Defendant's Motion for Leave
to File Sur-Reply (ECF No. 22). The parties' submissions
have been reviewed and no hearing is necessary. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the following reasons,
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 3) is
MOOT; Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to
File an Amended Complaint (ECF No. 8) is GRANTED; and
Defendant's Motion for Leave to File Sur-Reply (ECF No.
22) is DENIED.
Court accepts as true the facts alleged in the
plaintiffs' complaint. See Aziz v. Alcolac,
Inc., 658 F.3d 388, 390 (4th Cir. 2011).
and Cartwright worked as Mortgage Loan Officers
("MLOs") at George Mason in Frederick, Maryland
from about April 2012 to March 2013 and March 2012 to August
2013, respectively. Compl. ¶¶ 10, 14. An MLO's job duties
include making cold calls to prospective borrowers, informing
prospective borrowers about George Mason's loan products,
and obtaining supporting documents for loan applications.
Id. ¶ 28. George Mason did not record MLOs'
employment hours. Id. ¶ 35. The company regularly
required MLOs to work over forty hours per week, but never
paid its MLOs overtime wages. Id. ¶¶ 24-25. Instead,
George Mason paid its MLOs a flat, monthly salary drawn from
their commission earnings. Id. ¶ 26.
September 15, 2015, over two years after each plaintiff
ceased employment at George Mason, Plaintiffs filed the
present action against George Mason, alleging a violation of
the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et
seq. ("FLSA"). George Mason subsequently moved
to dismiss (ECF No. 3) pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In relevant part, George
Mason argues that Alcorn and Cartwright's Complaint
should be dismissed because (1) they have failed to meet the
FLSA's two-year statute of limitations; (2) they have
failed to allege facts sufficient to establish that George
Mason willfully violated the FLSA, and therefore the
FLSA's three-year statute of limitations provision does
not apply to their claims; and (3) Plaintiffs have failed to
allege that they worked overtime. Alcorn and Cartwright
subsequently filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Complaint (ECF No. 8) and attached a proposed Amended
Complaint (ECF No. 8-1). George Mason opposes Plaintiff's
Motion, arguing that the proposed Amended Complaint would be
futile because it would be subject to dismissal under Rule
12(b)(6) for substantially the same reasons discussed in its
Motion to Dismiss. See Def.'s Resp.
Opp'n, ECF No. 14. This Court notes that, in opposing
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, Defendant appears to have
abandoned its argument that Plaintiffs failed to allege
sufficiently any overtime hours worked. As such, this Court
will focus solely on Defendant's arguments with respect
to the FLSA statutes of limitations.
Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
complaint must contain a "short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes the dismissal of
a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. The purpose of Rule 12(b)(6) is "to test
the sufficiency of a complaint and not to resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006).
Supreme Court's opinions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), "require that
complaints in civil actions be alleged with greater
specificity than previously was required." Walters
v. McMahen, 684 F.3d 435, 439 (4th Cir. 2012) (citation
omitted). In Twombly, the Supreme Court articulated
"[t]wo working principles" that courts must employ
when ruling on Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. First, while a court must
accept as true the factual allegations contained in the
complaint, the court is not so constrained when the factual
allegations are conclusory or devoid of any reference to
actual events. United Black Firefighters v. Hirst,
604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979). Moreover, a court need not
accept any asserted legal conclusions drawn from the
proffered facts. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. (stating
that "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause
of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice" to plead a claim); see also Wag More Dogs,
LLC v. Cozart, 680 F.3d 359, 365 (4th Cir. 2012)
("Although we are constrained to take the facts in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, we need not accept
legal conclusions couched as facts or unwarranted inferences,
unreasonable conclusions, or arguments." (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Second, a complaint must be
dismissed if it does not allege "a plausible claim for
relief." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. LLC, 680 F.3d
at 365 (internal quotation marks omitted).
Motion for Leave to File Sur-Reply
general rule, this Court will not allow parties to file
sur-replies. Local Rule 105.2(a) (D. Md. 2011); seeMTB Servs., Inc. v. Tuckman-Barbee Const. Co., No.
1:12-cv-02109-RDB, 2013 WL 1224484, *6 (D. Md. Mar. 26,
2013). In MTB Services, this Court explained that a
"party moving for leave to file a surreply must show a
need for a surreply." Id. (internal citation
omitted). A court may permit a plaintiff to file a surreply
if "a defendant raises new legal issues or new theories
in its reply brief." Id. (citing TECH USA,
Inc. v. Evans,592 F.Supp.2d 852, 862 (D. Md. 2009)).
Even further "[s]urreplies may be permitted when the
moving party would be unable to contest matters presented to
the court for ...